Comprehensive Child-Oriented Preventive Resilience Program in Israel Based on Lessons Learned from Communities Exposed to War, Terrorism and Disaster

Daniel Hamiel, Leo Wolmer*, Smadar Spirman, Nathaniel Laor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coping with mass emergencies and disasters has become a growing challenge for children, adults and entire communities. Among the population groups affected by disaster, children are particularly vulnerable. Responsible disaster intervention requires both top-down and bottom-up preparation that endorses an ecological perspective, taking into consideration the impact upon individuals and families as well as on neighborhoods and entire communities. In such an approach, preventive and post-disaster interventions with children should be integrated with community leadership, local schools, welfare units, social institutions and medical centers. Objective: In this paper we briefly summarize how disaster affects children and their protective matrix. We further discuss the concept of personal and community resilience, its definitions and components. The worldview of this system-oriented approach encompasses perceptions of public health and administration, community capital and resilience and preventive education. Results: We describe what makes a community a resilient one, and the role played by preparedness. Finally, we describe the Cohen-Harris Model of Urban Resilience, its rationale, and its four resilience programs (health/mental health, population, information and school resilience).In this model, the local authority serves as the command center for emergency preparedness and resilience is developed through everyday activities that are an integral part of the urban routine. Conclusions: This model relies on interest in child welfare to enlist leaders, institutions and communities to act as well to motivate the entire community and to implement far-reaching and systemic changes. Interest in all aspects of children's lives serves to integrate the actions of families, organizations and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


FundersFunder number
Association for Children at Risk
Irving Harris Foundation


    • Children
    • Community
    • Disaster
    • Resilience


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